|Matthew 12:34-35 (NLT)|
|34 … How could evil men like you speak what is good and right? For whatever is in your heart determines what you say. 35 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.|
|In the context of these verses, some folk were referred to as a ‘brood of snakes’ or ‘vipers’ because there was so much evil in them. And because there was evil in them, they often spoke evil words, especially about the things of God. Knowing that folk would often reflect on this and wonder how would God know about what they speak, Jesus assured His hearers, and those of us that would follow, that we had best be careful what our hearts are filled with, as it will infest the words that we speak and therefore make us accountable before God for every evil word spoken. That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? So what then shall we do?|
|It is often said that our eyes are the mirrors into our souls, because folk can determine the honesty of what we say and the sincerity from which we say it. Now, Jesus said that there’s another way that He determines the content of our heart, and it also becomes very apparent to those we make contact with. We could never find something uplifting, or encouraging, or Godly to say when our minds are filled with the filth of this world and the evil of its ruler. It just doesn’t work that way. The evil one is out to kill, steal and destroy those who find joy in the Lord. When we make contact with someone who has nothing encouraging, loving, uplifting or Godly to say, then we had best protect ourselves with the full armor of God, because we are facing the evil one, or one of his cohorts. The Bible tells us that we are to flee from the presence of evil, and that’s because God wants to protect His children from the contamination of Satan himself. Why is that? It’s really pretty simple, for if you fill yourself with the evil attitude and character of an agent of Satan, your mouth will begin transmitting words that hurt, destroy, breakdown, discourage and humiliate – and the love of God will no longer prevail through the words you speak or the actions that you portray. Friends, these things have a very serious impact on the good that God is endeavoring to accomplish in and through us, and that’s why I believe He told us to therefore be prepared to account for every evil thing that comes from our mouth. I want to build up, and never tear down, so I must protect myself from all that might hinder me in my goal, or that would aid the very thing that I want to steer away from. Will you join me in asking God to renew within us a fresh desire to be filled with His love, His goodness and His words, so that the unsaved might hear, know and believe? Oh that we might return to our mission and fight off every inkling of evil.|
|Lord Jesus, our hearts and our minds are filled with whatever we bring into them. May we who are called by Your name, be so indulged in Your Word that we will have a strong desire to fill our hearts and minds with even more words from our Master each and every day. Lord teach us to meditate on Your Word and to communicate with You often, so that we might be filled with Your goodness and be obedient to Your commands. We want others to know You personally, and we have a strong desire that You use us in Your work here on earth. As we are filled, so may we share with those looking to fill their cup. May the lost come into contact with believers who are filled with the Spirit of God and not a mixed bag of goods that confuse them. Lord, may we be usable vessels for Your great work here on earth, is my humble plea, all for Your glory and praise, AMEN!|
|There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!|
Archive for the ‘Good works’ Category
Bible Reference: Romans 14:15-19
Bible Text: 15 If the food you eat harms your brother, then you have failed to love him. Do not let what you eat tear down your brother; after all, the Anointed laid down His life for him. 16 Do not allow people to slander something you find to be good 17 because the kingdom of God is not about eating and drinking. When God reigns, the order of the day is redeeming justice, true peace, and joy made possible by the Holy Spirit. 18 You see, those who serve the Anointed in this way will be welcomed into the whole acceptance of God and valued by all men. 19 Join us, and pursue a life that creates peace and builds up our brothers and sisters.
Bible Translation: The Voice Translation (Voice)
I believe that some of us may look at the issues Paul were addressing with the Christians at Rome, and wonder to ourselves, “what on earth was wrong with those people?” I’m really just kidding, because I sincerely hope that none of us would think that way about the church Paul was addressing, for God knew that it was important for this to be a part of His Word to us also, because He knew that we would probably be worse than the folk that Paul was addressing. Fortunately, this was not just a time of ‘beating up’ on us for what we do wrong, but I want to emphasize on the positive aspects of what is being taught to help us please God and all those that we stand a chance of ministering to. In verse 17, we are reminded that the kingdom of God is not about what we eat or drink – in other words, don’t get hung up on putting down a brother because of what he eats, or won’t eat, for that has no impact on the soul of that loved one, or about the kingdom of heaven. So let’s seek God’s help and guidance, so that we could concentrate on these three qualities:
- Redeeming justice – in another translation this is called ‘goodness‘, or pleasing God in all that you do;
- True peace – Living in peace with one another. Be known as a person who instigates peace, and not trouble at every turn;
- Joy – let others see such happiness in you from the joy of the Lord, that they would automatically conclude that it must be a God-given attribute!
Friends, I believe that God is telling us that it is important that our words, our actions and our lives be filled with the presence of God, so that He would be overwhelmingly pleased with us, and that we might have opportunities to witness to people around us, because they will be pleased with seeing the love and power of God working through us. It is very evident to friends when we approach them in love and filled with the Holy Spirit, for they see signs of goodness, peace and joy that could only come from Jesus Christ. At our church we have a monthly prayer meeting called ‘The Source’. I believe it is important for Christians to daily return to, and depend on, ‘The Source’ of all life, who is also the hope of eternity.
Father God, when we become detached, or disconnected, or distanced from You, our lives and our habits soon become displeasing and unwanted by You and our fellow-man. Thank You for Your Word that pulls us back to You, that helps us realize our sin and our worldly attitudes. Lord, please help us to overcome the worldly desires of our heart, and instead fill us with so much of You, that our lives will overflow in goodness, peace and joy, so that we might become useful servants of Yours oh Lord. Please awaken us, and draw us close to You. Our world needs Jesus, more than anything else at this time. May we be helpers in this respect and never a stumbling block in the path of one who desperately needs Jesus. I ask these things in faith, through the matchless name of Jesus, and in my deepest desire to win the lost, oh Lord, AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!
THE HOLY BIBLE (The Message – 1 John 4:8-11): 8–10 The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.11–12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!
THOUGHTS: Sometimes, people go to great extremes to determine, or prove who they are, or where they may have come from. I’ve especially heard of grown-up children having a DNA test done to help them determine who their father is, for they want to be identifiable with a birth mother and father. John laid out some tests that we could perform to help us identify to whom we belong, beyond the tests of physical parents and/or children, and this all evolves around one key characteristic – ‘LOVE’. He first demonstrates the true meaning of this word by showing us how much God loved/loves us. Imagine for a moment that you have just been told of God. One of the first things you may hear about is His amazing, unconditional love for you. But to take it one step further into the amazing explanation of God’s love is to learn about Him sacrificing His One and Only Son to die for us, so that we may have the means to eternal salvation with the God of this universe. Now, understand that at the time God did this, everyone in the world was underserving of this awesome love, as you might be at this time. Yet God did this out of pure love for us! So now, put that into perspective. Those who have accepted the gift of God (Jesus, His Son) – our directive is that we imitate His love as we interact with Him and/or others in this world. In your self-evaluation, how would you rate yourself when it comes to loving God in every circumstance of life – yes, through the good and challenging circumstances of life? What about in your relationship with others – yes, not just with those who think the world of you, but for those who make it very challenging for anyone to love them? The scripture indicates that God, and/or your contacts will know to whom you belong, based on your demonstration of God’s love. How do you suppose you are doing?
PRAYER: What Have I Done to Deserve God’s Only Son? Thanks be to God, that the love of God for undeserving folk such as I, is a key attribute of the amazing God that I serve. Please remind me of this love, oh Lord, because I tend to forget, especially when I try to imitate You in everything that I do here on this earth, like loving others that I come into contact with each day. Lord, may it be evident to whom I belong – especially when looking at the love that I demonstrate to others. Father, I believe that my readers might have similar needs today, because we see such a lack of love demonstrated by everyone. We need your power to help us be more like You dear Lord. Please touch us very powerfully today and prompt us towards love and good works in all that we say and do. May we be good representatives of You today. For I ask this in the loving name of Jesus, AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!